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Africa

LG's 'Anti-Mosquito' air conditioner uses ultrasonic waves to repel malaria-transmitting m...

While promising vaccines and genetically-engineered mosquitoes are providing hope in the fight against malaria, it currently remains a major and potentially life-threatening problem in tropical and subtropical regions around the world. These regions are also hot and sticky, making LG's introduction of an air conditioner that it claims actively repels mosquitoes as it keeps the house cool a seemingly obvious blending of technologies.  Read More

Kenya's capital Nairobi will be the site of a Philips' solar LED lights pilot project, the...

A collaboration between Philips and the Kenyan Urban Roads Authority will see the streets of capital city Nairobi being lit up with solar-powered LED lighting. The pilot project is the first of its kind in East Africa and and was launched during the 40th anniversary of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), which is headquartered in that city.  Read More

Gmail SMS allows users of older and more basic cellphones located in Ghana, Nigeria and Ke...

While much of the developed world has grown used to high-speed internet access, the majority of the African continent remains without reliable and affordable internet, placing modern communication staples like email firmly out of reach to most. However, Google has recently announced Gmail SMS, a new service available in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya, which brings Gmail to all cellphones capable of sending SMS text messages - no data connection required.  Read More

Frenchman Xavier Chevrin has just completed a 3,600 mile journey through Africa in an elec...

He's done it! Intrepid eco-adventurer Xavier Chevrin has completed his cross-country journey through deepest Africa in an electric Citroen Berlingo, taking in six countries and clocking up over 5,800 km (3,603 miles), including 600 km (372 miles) of rough terrain. Not even blown components and a broken leg prevented the Frenchman from completing the Mission Africa challenge.  Read More

The Square Kilometer Array (SKA) will be shared between Australia and South Africa (Image:...

After a tense few months that has had many in Australia and South Africa anxiously awaiting word on whether their particular site will be chosen to host the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope, the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) Organisation has finally made its decision. And it’s good news for both bids – or bad news, if you’re the glass half empty sort - with the organization opting for a dual-site solution that will see the SKA telescope shared between Australia and South Africa.  Read More

Xavier Chevrin recently began a journey through Africa in an electric Citroën Berlingo to ...

Xavier Chevrin is no stranger to extended EV adventures. In 2008, he rode an electric scooter between Paris, France and Almaty in Kazakhstan, and two years later he set the record for the longest distance traveled in an electric vehicle by taking a Venturi-powered electric Citroën Berlingo van from Shanghai in China to Paris, notching up some 13,400 km (8,326 miles) in the process – but costing less than 200 dollars for the whole trip. Now he's set off on an African adventure that will take him from Nairobi to Johannesburg – a distance of around 4,800 km (just short of 3,000 miles) – in about six weeks, charging the vehicle as he stops to chat with locals along the way.  Read More

Possible model of the Sahara Solar Breeder Project

This is ambition with a capital A. Universities in Japan and Algeria have teamed up on a project that aims to solve the world’s energy problems. Called the Sahara Solar Breeder Project, the plan is to build manufacturing plants around the Sahara Desert and extract silica from sand to make solar panels, which will then be used to build solar power plants in the desert. The power generated by the initial plant or plants would be used to “breed” more silicon manufacturing and solar power plants, which will in turn be used to breed more again, and so on. The ultimate goal is to build enough plants to provide 50 percent of the world’s electricity by 2050, which would be delivered via a global superconducting supergrid.  Read More

Concentrating solar mirrors are one potential technology to be used in the proposed 5GW so...

Laying claim to “what will be the world’s largest solar power plant” is difficult these days with so many in development, but the Texas-based Fluor corporation is drawing up plans for a five gigawatt (GW) plant in South Africa that would certainly make it amongst the world’s largest. The company has been selected to perform a feasibility study for the potential solar park to be built on the edge of the Kalahari Desert in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa – an area the South African government says is among the sunniest three percent of regions in the world.  Read More

The Zambulance provides medical transportation to people in developing nations

According to a recent study, over 60 percent of people in developing countries live more than eight kilometers (five miles) from a healthcare facility. As you can imagine, most of these people don’t own cars, or even have access to motorized ambulance services. When they require urgent medical attention, they often have to walk, are loaded into an ox cart or wheelbarrow, or have to sit on the rack of a bicycle. Fortunately, however, an alternative is available to some – the Zambulance. While the bicycle trailer/ambulance might seem like very basic medical transportation, early trials indicate that it’s truly life-saving.  Read More

Andrew Miller's Global Focus microscope

The World Health Organization estimates that 1.3 million people worldwide died from tuberculosis in 2008. It’s definitely a disease to be taken seriously, so when people in remote locations are being tested for it, it’s best if they don’t have to wait for their samples to be processed at a distant lab. That’s why medical device designer Andrew Miller, when he was still an undergraduate at Houston’s Rice University, developed the portable, battery-operated Global Focus fluorescence microscope. In a paper published this Wednesday, Miller and his co-authors described how the $US240 Global Focus is able to detect TB-positive sputum smears just as well as laboratory microscopes worth over $40,000.  Read More

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